I don’t feel quite ready to blog about this yet, mostly because I know there are so many things I know I’m going to want to say, once I have more time between me and the event. But the longer I wait, the less likely I ever am to blog about it and… well, I think it needs to be mentioned. Because I reached a milestone the other day, and I know that it’s going to change me in profound ways that I’m not yet even aware of.
I mentioned before that I was planning to run a 10k in October. I also mentioned that I didn’t feel anywhere near ready, but I was determined to do it. I started “training” the day after I wrote that post, and that day I ran/walked two miles and it took me an hour – an hour!!! – to do so (in case you’re not a runner and don’t know, that’s a really REALLY – ridiculously – long time… old ladies at the mall can walk faster than I ran those two miles.) My training continued to be less than stellar until I spoke with a friend who was the first to encourage me by saying that he knew I could do it… not four weeks from now, but NOW. He said: “physically, you’re capable. If anything keeps you from doing it, it’s going to be your mind.”
The day after we had this conversation, I went out for my run. Normally, I would have put on my “8 weeks to 10k” mp3 program, but this time I simply wanted to run. I didn’t want to “train,” I didn’t want to come at this with the idea that I was trying to build up to something I couldn’t yet do, I just wanted to run the best I could, as far as I could. My absolute goal? Run two miles without stopping (I hadn’t done that yet.) My “if-i-really-push-it-and-I’m-feeling-good-after-two-miles” goal – run three miles without stopping.
I ended up running a 10k (6.2 miles.)
Sure, I was running like a turtle (it took me almost 2 hours) but I was running (er… jogging… ok, shuffling with a slight bounce on occasion)… but I wasn’t walking.
And now, I’m a girl who has lost 80lbs and can run a 10k. I’m a girl who can do things. I feel like there are so many lessons that I’m taking away from this experience, but they’re so new to me that I’m not ready to write about them yet. The one that looms in my mind most is: what else has my head convinced my body it can’t do?
I ran that 10k not because I believed that I could, but because I stopped believing that I couldn’t. I stopped “training” for something I thought I couldn’t do, and just RAN.
I don’t have some neat way to package that experience up into a nice lesson for my everyday life. I don’t think I’ve even begun to understand what all of this means, and what God is doing through it. But I do know this: I crashed through a wall on Thursday and I don’t think I’m ever going to be the same again. I feel that, to the very tips of my toes.
I’m discovering that there is a capable and confident person inside of me, and she’s really cool. She might be a little over-zealous, though, and over-confident of her abilities, because she’s starting to mumble things about marathons and half marathons and late at night, she’s up watching Chariots of Fire and documentaries about the Ironman.
She’s almost convinced me to go for it. She’s at least convinced me to try, if not sign up for an actual race, although I do have one in mind.
See, there is a half marathon coming up near me in November. If I start training for a full marathon this week, the half marathon is scheduled to be run on the EXACT DAY my training schedule would have me running a half marathon. Coincidence? Maybe… but why not try???
My biggest fear is that I’ll quit. The truth is, I really don’t like running. I can’t imagine being alone with myself for hours at a time, with nothing to occupy me except my own thoughts. I’m not a “long walks on the beach” kinda girl… I’m a dinner and a broadway show kinda girl. I don’t do boredom well.
Nevertheless, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve wanted something enough to FIGHT for it. And this would be an amazing fight. I don’t want to be the girl who weighs 260lbs and can’t walk to the mailbox and back without getting winded. I want to be the girl who can run marathons. I want to prove that I can do it – to myself.
The next few weeks are going to be interesting. I’m going to be “training” for a marathon (I say that with trepidation, because it’s a very real possibility that I’m not ready to train for a full marathon yet.) Please forgive me if this blog becomes the place where I complain about… well, running. I’d like to use this blog as a place to keep myself accountable. I promise I won’t just complain… I’m sure I’ll brag every once in a while, too. :)
On that note (the complaining and accountability note, not the bragging note), here is my schedule for this week:
Monday – 1 hour cross training (stair climber)
Tuesday – 3 mile run
Wednesday – Strength Training (P90x – legs and back)
Thursday – 3 mile run
Friday – 3 mile run
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – 6 mile run.
(Taking a deep breath)
I’ll let you know how it goes!
(Update: I DID sign up for that half marathon and I DID run it!!! You can read about it Here)